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WRC manufacturers meet over allowing 2017 VW to compete

Volkswagen's hopes of its 2017 World Rally Car competing with privateers this year will be decided on Thursday in Monte Carlo

The four-time world champion manufacturer's quest for a late homologation for its Polo R WRC will be discussed by rival manufacturers ahead of this week's season opener.

Approval from Hyundai, M-Sport, Citroen and Toyota is a must if Volkswagen's much-debated private season is to get off the ground.

Without universal agreement from its rivals, Volkswagen's 2017 challenger will never turn a wheel in competition.

None of the teams were willing to discuss the matter on the record ahead of the meeting, but one insider told Autosport: "We can all see the benefit from having Volkswagen involved, even as a so-called private team, but the rule for homologation was the same for everybody.

"There is a feeling that this could be unfair for the teams already competing.

"Would Volkswagen pay the full manufacturers entry fee?

"It's these kind of questions where we need to see the whole picture - hopefully that's what we get from Thursday's meeting."

Talking to Autosport last week, Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets admitted it was a big ask of the teams his squad had defeated for the last four years.

"What we are talking to the FIA about is an exceptional waiver for homologation," Smeets said.

"This sort of thing hasn't been done before, so it's clear we would need something exceptional to make it possible to use the car."

Smeets has already made it plain Volkswagen is ready to sit out rallies in an effort to ensure private 2017 Polo R WRCs make it to the stages this year.

He added: "We are working in a different timeframe now - January 1 has passed and if that means we have to sit out another rally to make sure people are happy with the process then we'll do that.

"The most important thing for me is that we get the car through this extraordinary process."

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